Investor Joe Sandberg Backs $18 Minimum Wage Initiative For November Ballot

Investor and anti-poverty activist Joe Sanberg is putting his money behind a move to get an $18 minimum wage initiative on next November's ballot.

Joe Sanberg, a Los Angeles investor and anti-poverty activist, spearheaded the Living Wage Act of 2022, which was filed with the state attorney general’s office Friday. Sanberg said he will finance the signature-gathering process to qualify the ballot initiative for the November election. It would gradually increase the state minimum wage starting in 2023, then rise to $18 an hour for all-sized businesses by 2026, according to The Los Angeles Times. “If you work full time, you should be able to live with full financial security, and that’s not the case in California,” Sanberg said in an interview. “We were a leader in pushing for a $15 minimum wage, but now we have to move the ball forward and farther. It’s overdue for $18.”

However, Sacramento State Economist Sanjay Varshney says it's small businesses who struggle amid wage increases and will continue to be impacted even more. Varshney believes legislators need to also address cost of living issues in California, rather than simply upping minimum wage rates.

After reaching $18 an hour, the minimum wage will be adjusted yearly to keep pace with the cost of living, according to the initiative.

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